Lotus Elan

Jobs to do while body is off the chassis...

PostPost by: innesw » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:34 pm

Hi,
I bought my plus 2 last summer and have been slowly working through restoring it while at university. It came with a new chassis and built up enough so the body could be dropped on top and rolled on to a trailer - the rest of it came in boxes!
I then took the body off it and got to work, having finished rebuilding and replacing the suspension, rebuilt the brakes, the diff and gearbox didn't need any work and currently the engine is being rebuilt at my local "lotus twincam racing engine specialist" (never realised I had one just round the corner from my house, crazy!).
Once thats done I need to think of what needs doing next and in what order, so I'm asking for some advice of which other jobs are easier to do with the body off the chassis?

Thanks
Innes.

P.S. here's some pictures of the story so far...

IMG_1441.jpg and


IMG_1503.jpg and


IMG_1517.jpg and


IMG_1585.jpg and


My Twincam, in lots of little pieces and in not bad nick after 73,000 miles and not been run in 28 years :D (previous owner hadn't touched it since 1981!)

IMG_1586.jpg and


A full racing engine rebuild just finshed, which was about to be dyno tested as I was dropping mine off, pure eye candy! :shock:
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PostPost by: jono » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:20 pm

Innes,

That'll be Agra Engineering then?

May be worth getting the prop balanced and new UJ's fitted while it's out. Also brake pipes and fuel lines - I guess you will be doing these anyway?

Oh, and ditch those abominations known as donuts while you at it and fit some proper Mick Miller solid shafts - you know it makes sense :mrgreen:

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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:49 pm

Hi Innes,

Definitely worth making sure that the handbrake tree is well greased and working correctly-really difficult to work on/remove/replace once the body is back on.You might also want to consider fitting adjustable handbrake rods-Sue Miller stocks them.Brian Buckland shows them in his excellent book on rebuilding the Elan.Good to have as an additional reference to the workshop manual.

Good luck

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:29 pm

Hey Innes,

Nice car mate.

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PostPost by: innesw » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:54 am

Thanks for the replies,

Yes Jono, thats Agra engineering, each time I go round it's like walking into a toy shop as a child but even better! Hadn't thought about the prop balancing, I assumed it would be fine, the UJ's move smoothly and I greased them up, might do a bit of ebay shopping... thanks. Also I've got a spare 4 speed prop that came with the car if anybody up this end of the country needs one (will have to check what condition it's in though).

Martin how do the adjustable handbrake rods work? I have reassebled the orginal ones but the previous owner decided to put a slight kink in both of the rods (to shorten their overall length I presume ?) The adjustables sound like a good buy...

Thanks Alex, if only the car looked as good close up! The black paint has lots of cracks, spidering all over and the front end only has lots of blisters (apparalently common with the black paint on the JPS' of this age? It's still the original paint...) All of the gold paint is good though, its faded slightly but I quite like the colour it's faded to, haven't decided how I'm going to deal with the black paint yet. Don't really want to do a full strip and respray (and can't afford that either!) do you know of any good places to go for respraying up here?

Innes
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:54 pm

Hi Innes,
Martin will no doubt get back to you with a similar answer I expect but basically..

Your handbrake 'calipers' have levers which are pulled by the rods via the cable and handbrake 'tree'. It is very important (I think anyway!) that the levers on the calipers are on their stops when the handbrake is off. The 'tree' lever should be all the way back towards the rear of the car and just clear of the chassis down tube which is just behind it. That gives you a distance between the holes in the levers and those on the 'tree'. Std rods will normally be a compromise and will either be too long or (as norm') too short. When fitting these one has to pull the caliper levers slightly off their stops which is not good. Adjustable rods allow one to set them to exactly the correct length. The adjusters on the calipers should now be used to just put the pads into contact with the discs. VERY slightly.The car should roll easily. Then just the slightest pull on the lever will apply the handbrake. Once the rods are set and the pads adjusted you then have the handbrake cable to think about. They are always too long and need the adjustment winding all the way out to get the cable 'tension' correct. I say tension..But it should be just no slack rather than tensioned. I shortened my cable. Others have made very nice extra adjustment devices. To each their own.

Carefully and properly set up your handbrake should work ok. :wink: If not its feckin useless. :?


Take some time and get it right. Adjustable rods are a very good idea.


Alex B.... 8)
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:10 am

Car looks great Innes.

A few other simple items to look over with the body off, a lot of which are obvious I suppose. Check you have good waterproof seals on all the through body stuff on the firewall, boot floor, etc. Way easier now. Might want to check out bonnet alignment and hold down catches, easier standing in the engine bay. Of course, new pad for the saddle of the frame. Check the side rails for rust, and fix up the inspection panels in the wheel wells. Rattle can undercoat material in the wheel wells, bottom rail of body under doors, and around the boot floor on the outside to blend nicely to the paint work; probably not bad with your black colour, but really sharpened up my red car. New oil in the diff & trans, never easier. Headlight pods working correctly and alligned, easier access with body off. All grounding points cleaned up, and consider using rear chassis tower mounting bolt as alternate ground location as threaded to chassis. If you want to add an electric fuel pump, now may be the time, as might change how you want the fuel line to run in the boot area. Brake lines as mentioned above if needed.

Just a thought, but I would skip a quick respray and enjoy the car. It looks quite nice in the photos; the blisters are just character. That was my plan when I got mine. Only went for the body work as I had to take the body off due to frame corrosion, and got into the 'while it is off' mode. The cheap respray done by the PO made doing a proper body repair job harder; a lot of lousy paint to strip to get back to gel and repair properly. Wait until you have the time and resources to do it well, and enjoy the car in the meantime. If you do the other frame off stuff fully now, probably no real need to remove the body for a good repaint later.

Alix, nice explanation of the handbrake. Will look mine over again and see about the adjustable rods.
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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:24 am

Innes,

Alex has posted a perfect description/explanation.Essentially the adjustable rods have a threaded end which allows for adjustment of length.Thus you can set the handbrake callipers as Alex describes,swivel the tree so that the arm is all the way back to the rear of the car (stopping just short of the chassis) on the driver's side, and then adjust both rods to match the exact distance required on each side between calliper lever and tree.
Seems that a PO has adjusted the rods for length by bending them!!

Brian Buckland gives a very good descrition/diagram in his book on rebuilding the Elan-maybe somebody here could post the relevant page?(If that is allowed-sorry Brian if it is not).
Bought my rods from Sue Miller.

regards

Martin B
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PostPost by: Dr Brian » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:45 am

Can I also suggest stripping and lubricating the windscreen wiper cable, motor drive and wheel box. Much easier when the body is off.
Good luck

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:22 am

Hi Guys.. I completely agree with Brian also..You do not want failed wipers on an Elan.The system is an absolute pig to remove. :shock: Make sure this is perfect before refitting it to your car.. Don't forget this.

Good call Brian :wink:

Have a good weekend Guys.. I am just finishing rebuild of a small Lambretta engine and the frame etc is just about ready to go off for powder coating / painting..

Alex...
Last edited by alexblack13 on Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:52 am

Martin,
bent rods are a real problem, as you pull on the brake, the rods straighten and you lose some of the travel on the handbrake lever. The first thing I would do is check the rods are dead straight.

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PostPost by: Corryvechter » Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:25 pm

Inness,

Car and engine looks good, if you don't mind me asking, what sort of money did Agra charge for the rebuilt? I am looking to get mind done, and haven't a clue what it would cost!

Cheers

Paul G
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PostPost by: Dr Brian » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:37 am

Alex

Cant say that I would recommend fitting a Lambretta engine into your Lotus!

Unless, of course, you intend to use to power the windscreen wipers!

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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:53 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Now now.... :lol: :lol:

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